The day’s trek had been quite event-less. They’d seen glimpses of a few dragons in he sky, but nothing had approached them or even wandered close.
Axra glanced at Twila, who was gazing into the distance. It had been like that all day.
She moved closer to Twila and gently slapped her back. Twila jerked upright and looked over at her.
“What is with you today?” Axra asked. “Does knowing magic really make you sense things happening a buncha kilometres away?”
“Not normally,” Twila answered. She looked back toward the distance. “That’s why I’m so uneasy. Whatever this is, it has enormous magical power and it’s been using it for a while.”
“D… does that mean trouble?” Lilly asked.
Twila shook her head. “I don’t know.”
“What could cause that kind of power?” Bonnie asked.
“Whatever it is, it isn’t mortal,” Twila answered. “Even a large group of mages working together couldn’t keep it up this long.”
“So it is Eritos,” Axra stated. “What could she possibly be up to?”
“I… It might not be,” Lilly argued.”I… I mean there are full-blooded Gods out there. One of them might…”
“Get real!” Axra interrupted. “When have any of the Gods flaunted their power this much?”
“I… We… I’m sure whoever it is has a reason,” Lilly whispered.
“Why are you so quick to defend her?” Axra demanded. “Does she have some kind of hold over you?”
“Axra, stop,” Twila said. “I think that Lilly’s right, at least about this not being Eritos’s doing.”
“Oh, come on!” Axra cried. “Who else could it be?”
Twila shook her head. “I don’t know, but the consistent output indicates that whoever’s responsible is in some type of conflict. Who would be attacking Eritos and why would she stick around to fight them instead of teleporting away? Unless we can answer those questions I don’t think we can assu…”
“What?” Axra asked. “Something happen?”
“There was a sudden burst of power and then whatever was producing it vanished,” Twila said. “Whatever was going on it seems to be over.”
“We’ll keep extra vigilant during the watch tonight,” Bonnie said. “Just to be sure.”
They continued on their way, eventually stopping to make camp for the night.
“I’ll cook something up for supper,” Lilly stated.
“I’ll help,” Twila volunteered. “Axra, can you get a fire started?”
“Sure,” Axra said. “I’ll have it roaring in seconds flat.”
“Lysara and I can put the tents up,” Bonnie stated. “Velvet can…”
“I’ll keep a lookout,” Velvet volunteered.
“Of course you will,” Bonnie said.
“That’s one way to get out of work,” Axra added.
The group went to their respective tasks.
“Bon, I put our tent up!” Lysara called. “I think my bag’s even big enough for both of us! Well, it is if we really snuggle.”
“I think we can each have our own tent,” Bonnie stated.
“Aww, why?” Lysara asked. “Was it just a one night thing for you? I thought that we…”
Bonnie put her hand over Lysara’s mouth. “Keep your voice down. I do love you, but if we… if we act too close… in front of everybody then they’ll find out about… about us.”
“So what?” Lysara asked. “I don’t think anyone will mind.”
“We can all tell anyway,” Velvet added.
“Bon, you’re really flushed,” Lysara said. “Could it be that you’re the shy type? I never would have figured.”
“It’s not that,” Bonnie stated. “I… I forgot that he was nearby and it startled me a bit.”
“I hear that a lot,” Velvet stated.
“Hmmm,” Lysara murmured. “Is that really the case?”
“Of course it is!” Bonnie cried.
“Either way, Bon,” Lysara began “since everyone can tell do you still want me to put up a tent just for you or can we share?”
“Well…” Bonnie gazed at Lysara. “Well, if everyone can tell anyway we might as well just stick to one and be able to pack up more quickly in the morning.”
“Yay!” Lysara exclaimed. She hugged Bonnie. “I love you, Bon!”
Bonnie stood awkwardly for a moment before returning Lysara’s embrace. “And I you,” she whispered.
Axra took the first watch along with Velvet. Eventually, the two were relieved by Lysara and Bonnie. Finally, Lilly and Twila took over for the remainder.
“Lilly,” Twila said. “Axra was a bit out of line, but she was definitely right about one thing. You do seem awfully close to Gail.”
“I… I don’t think she’s a bad person,” Lilly said. “I mean… I can’t return her feelings… I… I can only feel that way about Axra and you… but I still… I don’t think she’s bad.”
“She did force that ring on you,” Twila said. “She also cast that spell over Choltin.”
“I know,” Lilly muttered. “But I… don’t think she meant any harm. I mean… if she wanted to… force me… I know I couldn’t stop her. But… every time she’s appeared… she’s never tried to do… anything to hurt me.”
“So, you think she’s just overly enthusiastic in her attempts to court you,” Twila stated. “Is that it?” Lilly nodded.
“I won’t try to sway you to do something you’re against,” Twila said. “But We’re going to get the Einklangümlich Staff and then we’ll seal her back up. Between then and now decide if you can help. If you’re not comfortable with it, give Bonnie the Zerstörelicht for that battle.”
“I… I understand,” Lilly said. “I…”
“You what, My Lovely Wifey?”
Lilly sat upright, Gail was gazing down at her, smiling.
“G… Gail,” Lilly whispered. “Twila and I were…”
“Yes, yes,” Gail said. “You can finish talking to your dull friend later. I just had to see you.” Gail knelt down and hugged Lilly.
“I… I…” Lilly stammered.
“I’m sorry for being a bit selfish,” Gail said. “But this may be the last time I see you.”
“The last time?” Lilly asked.
Gail nodded. “Some fools released Typhon. He’s freed the other Titans and they’re going to move against Olympus again. All of us, be we half-Gods or full blooded, are being sent to face him.”
“Is… isn’t that dangerous?” Lilly asked.
Gail nodded. “For us half-bloods especially. The full-bloods, they won’t die. Even if they’re beaten and chained in the underworld. Me and the others like me… we can.” She glanced at Lilly. “Hey, don’t be too upset. I’m not going to just let those bastards kill me. I’ll do everything in my power to return to you.” She took Lilly’s hands in hers. “Trust me, we’ll have our happy ending yet!” She leaned forward and kissed Lilly. “Sorry, I won’t be able to protect you for a while, but don’t forget me, okay?”
In a flash of light, she was gone.
“Lilly?” Twila asked. “Are you okay?”
“I… I don’t know,” Lilly answered.